Press Release
September 25, 2016

More than $7B foreign direct investments to create 1M jobs per year--Villanueva

A million jobs per year await us should the country be able to get $7.5 billion foreign direct investments (FDIs) according to Senator Joel Villanueva.

In a focus group discussion with the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) of the Philippines, the senator acknowledged the foreign assistance our country has been receiving especially for the military and the rural sector.

The JFC is a coalition of various foreign chambers which includes the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese and Korean Chambers in the Philippines. For this year, the JFC said its goal is to double its FDI to $12 billion.

However, they have estimated that more than $7 billion FDIs would be enough to provide a million jobs for the Filipinos per year.

"Aside from its commitment in the anti-illegal drug campaign and criminality, I think the government must also equally prioritize creating more jobs and attracting investments," Villanueva said.

The JFC also suggested for the Philippines to invest more on our business process outsourcing (BPO) industry which they see as labor intensive.

"More investments would translate to better competition which is good for every Filipino," Villanueva emphasized.

Aside from their discussion on bringing FDIs into the country, the JFC also agreed on the importance of skills training and development especially in the agribusiness, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors.

Following his commitment to formulate policies that will create more jobs and will improve the skills of our workers, Villanueva filed Senate Bill No. 208 or the "Enterprise-Based Education and Training Act of 2016" which seeks to strengthen Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country by incorporating apprenticeship and "dual training" in the business sector.

The TVET is a program initiated by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) that gives dual training or a combination of on- and off-the-job training involving an "Enterprise-Based Agreement" between enterprise and trainee wherein an enterprise binds itself to train the trainee who in turn accepts the terms of education and training qualifications approved by the TESDA Board.

"Engaging the business sector in training and educating people will ensure adequate supply of skills that businesses need right now," Villanueva said. The senator further guaranteed that the bill has its safeguards against employers who will use the said program to underpay or contractualize workers.

The JFC, on its part, also expressed its support in ending "labor contractualization", noting that the apprenticeship bill would give chance to Filipinos to "move up to a higher value job".

"We have proven in the last six years that skills development activities can be a nexus where the pursuit of public and private needs intersect. Engaging the business sector in skills training and development would provide better and more opportunities to many Filipinos who are seeking employment," Villanueva said.

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